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70 Reviews
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68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars action aplenty with something for the brain and heart too
For readers new to le Carre(and there can't be many)this is the third of what has become known as the "karla series".The previous two being "tinker,tailor,soldier, spy" and the herioc and romantic "honorable schoolboy"(highly reccomended too).The third sees much of the same cast collected again.You meet clever and dodgy Toby Esterhazy,the...
Published on 7 Jun 2001

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars They left bits out!
This is John Le Carré reading from his brilliant book "Smiley's People". I know the book well, and have read it many times. Having enjoyed other recordings of Le Carré reading of his own work, I was looking forward to this. However I was disappointed. The work has been truncated to quite a great extent: chunks of original text are missing, and lots of the...
Published 21 months ago by Jessica Black


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4.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece, 18 April 2013
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This review is from: Smiley's People (Paperback)
Well written, superb plot, good page turner and all with a level of sophistication and psychological tension I have come to expect from Le Carre.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A master class of suspense, 14 April 2013
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Dougie (Bradford, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Smiley's People (Kindle Edition)
I read it straight after Tinker, Taylor... and loved it. The speed which he slowly builds up layer upon layer of clues, information, red-herrings is tremendous. The only writer in his class.
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5.0 out of 5 stars John le Carre, 5 April 2013
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This review is from: Smiley's People (Kindle Edition)
I like John le Carre, and Smiley and Smiley's People in particular.John le Carre isn't everyone's cup of tea. Would recommend it to those I know who fans of his.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Spy Novel., 30 Mar 2013
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Mr. A. M. Hutchings (Somewhere on the planet!) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Smiley's People (Kindle Edition)
This book, made into a TV series in the 1980's and more recently into a film is the classic spy novel. Written by a man who spent his early working life in the Foreign Office it has all the gritty pathos of the real spying world and the depth of writing is excellent!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A favourite book, 5 Mar 2013
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Harveian (Eltham, London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Smiley's People (Kindle Edition)
I like John le Carré's spy stories and this one is a favourite. I bought it as a Kindle book and it will sit on my Kindle as a favourite to dip into again and again. I know this book well and I like it too much to be able to give it an unbiased review. Taken in conjunction with "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy", it is superb. Just remember to read the latter first!

If you haven't read it, you have a treat in store!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Bliss, 28 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Smiley's People (Paperback)
This is a real master-piece. Extremely well written, full of subtlety, emminantly plausible, something to be savoured and reread.
The thrill comes from well constructed drama, with a firm basis in human nature, and certainly no improbabe twist-at-the-end.
The characters don't just act to push the plot forward, with set-pieces that you might expect, such as where one character explains something to another simply for the reader's benefit. Here the characters do what people do, and the reader is the observer putting the pieces together. Nothing superfluous, nothing improbable, and no coincidences.
Apart from this I also recommend The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, and Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book if you have read the two previous books then you have got to read this, 27 Feb 2013
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Very long like all Le Carre books but well worth the effort, you really need to know the Karla background though to fully enjoy it.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spy Master Class, 14 Feb 2007
By 
J. Flaton (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Smiley's People (Paperback)
I was truly astonished to discover that "Smiley's People" has never been reviewed here. Yes, history has caught up with us, as the Sowjets are no more (is that true, mr. Poetin?), but the Smiley trilogy still stands as Le Carré's finest hour. If you can, read "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and "The Honourable Schoolboy" first, for then "Smiley's People" shines even better, though you may read it on its own merits.

The plot seems simple, but it isn't. It's all about how to catch not a simple little spy - let's say, a 007 type - but a real spy master! Le Carré gives the receipt and even after all those years it is a true masterpiece. For revenge is indeed best enjoyed when cold!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars They left bits out!, 22 Oct 2012
By 
Jessica Black (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Smiley's People (Audio CD)
This is John Le Carré reading from his brilliant book "Smiley's People". I know the book well, and have read it many times. Having enjoyed other recordings of Le Carré reading of his own work, I was looking forward to this. However I was disappointed. The work has been truncated to quite a great extent: chunks of original text are missing, and lots of the details. I realise that works are sometimes abridged for audio, but this time it was too much, in my view. Sudden leaps are made, which makes me wonder if someone not familiar with the text would follow the logic. Why did Smiley suddenly fish a plimsoll from the water? In the book, it's explained, with smooth detailed inevitable logic.
Even the great scene near the end, following the chess game, classic Le Carré, is cut so much it almost loses its point.
I have to confess I am a Le Carré enthusiast, and so I notice when bits are missing. Others might be perfectly happy with it. But when the text is there, and gives so much pleasure, why leave bits out?

Have another go Le Carré, and this time unabridged?
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars his best book, 24 Feb 2010
By 
S. A. Wright (leeds uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Smiley's People (Paperback)
I reread this every few years, once you know the series i feel this book stands on its own. The pace never falters, the beginning is wonderful and the tension just builds and builds.
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Smiley's People
Smiley's People by John Le Carré (Paperback - 26 Nov 2009)
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